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A Crisis Spills South
Ozy, June 21, 2022
With reporting by Lorena Rios

It’s easy to get your hands on a gun in Mexico, a country with some of the toughest gun-control laws in the world. At least half a million weapons enter Mexico illegally from the U.S. every year, according to Alejandro Celorio Alcántara, legal adviser at the Mexican Foreign Ministry and part of the team that sued major U.S. gunmakers and distributors last year in what may become a landmark case. Today’s Daily Dose gets the view from across the southern border.

In the wake of more than 240 mass shootings in the U.S. in the first half of 2022 alone, and renewed conversations about gun violence following the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, Mexico’s unprecedented lawsuit against U.S. gun manufacturers, filed in August 2021, could have far-reaching implications for gun-control laws in the U.S. and for the availability of firearms internationally. For Mexico, the stakes could not be higher.

“The problems in the gun trade are structural,” said John Lindsay-Poland from the organization Stop US Guns to Mexico, referring to the legal — and lucrative — gun industry in the U.S. and the entrenched networks of organized crime in Mexico. “It’s not like you can flip a switch, pass one law or have one bilateral conference and it would change things.”

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